From Publishers Weekly
Rauf, a Manhattan imam whose mosque is only 12 blocks from the World Trade Center site, argues that what keeps the Islamic world and America apart, and what fuels Islamic terrorism, is economics, politics, Muslim defensivenesseverything but
religion. In fact, Rauf believes that America best represents Islam's true values. His major theme is the existence of an "Abrahamic ethic" which undergirds all the monotheistic religions and extols equality and justice. If Muslims, especially American Muslims, harness this Abrahamic ethic, Rauf promises Islam will once again contribute to the universal striving for a better society. In countering Bernard Lewis's What Went Wrong?,
Rauf raises numerous valid points: the U.S. overthrow of democratic Islamic regimes in Iran and Indonesia; U.S. creation and sponsorship of Afghan mujahideen to fight the Soviet Union; the anti-Muslim bias of American media (a point echoed by Karen Armstrong in the foreword); the massive, debilitating effect colonization had on most of the Islamic world; and the "drawing [of] lines" in the Middle East and South Asia by European powers after WWI and WWII, dooming countries with wildly diverse populations to perpetual unrest. However, Rauf presents these points sporadically and less eloquently than some previous commentators. The book's strengths include a concise history of Islam as well as brief but valuable insights into the American Muslim community. The few references to his own personal story also resonate: "Like many immigrants from Muslim lands, I discovered my Islam in America."
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“This book shows that the only possible way forward is by the assiduous cultivation of mutual respect.” (Karen Armstrong, author of The Battle for God, from the foreword)
“An excellent work of bridge building!” (Professor Dr. Hans Kung, President, Global Ethic Foundation, author of On Being a ChristianProfessor Dr. Hans Kung, President, Global Ethic Foundation, author of On Being a Christian)
“Wise and well-written, this important book is a ‘MUST’ for any thinking person who cares about our world.” (Lord Carey of Clifton, Chair of World Economic Forum's Council of 100 Leaders on West-Islamic World Dialogue)
“At long last, a book that helps “us Westerners” to see Muslims as they wish to see themselves.” (Gunnar Stålsett - Bishop of Oslo, Lutheran Church of Norway, member of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee)
“A searching, thoughtful and reasoned alternative to the shrill doomsayers who proclaim a ‘clash of civilizations.’” (Shashi Tharoor, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information)
“The publication of this book is a timely event, providing objective, serious responses to challenges that Islam faces today.” (Prof. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, author of The Heart of Islam)
Rauf argues that what keeps the Islamic world and America apart is economics, politics, Muslim defensiveness—everything but religion. (Publishers Weekly)
“An important counterweight to anti-Islamic polemics.” (Library Journal)
“An invigorating glimpse into the heart and mind of a wise Muslim seeking the higher ground.” (Christian Science Monitor)
“What’s Right with Islam... reveals a man dedicated to fitting the Muslim square peg into an American round hole - an at times awkward task that Rauf often carries out quite effectively.” (Religion Dispatches Magazine)